Push back 10.a.m. Amersham - really??!! I imagine Mr Mourinho might have something trenchant to say about that but for the Oxford Hawks mens 2nd XI there is nothing to be done except meekly comply. So an 8 o'clock leave from Oxford sees the boys on their way down the M40 on a decidedly chilly morning, the forecast colder temperatures having arrived at the end of the week as predicted by Mr Schafernaker.
By contrast I am pleased to report for those interested (since many of you have rather touchingly expressed concern during the last few days) - my relations with the woman who runs the Hawks kitchen have enjoyed a modest but identifiable thawing so much so that they might almost be described now as cordial. Indeed, meals have been cooked (by her) and consumed (by me) with an absence of rancour on either side although I have noticed that broccoli, which I loathe with a passion, has been rather too much in evidence for my liking - a coincidence I'm sure. Anyway the dressing down I received on publication of last week's report now, happily, seems to be forgotten. Peace reigns.
That obviously will come as a disappointment to my Godson (one Tom Biggs) and my middle son who took huge delight in breaching the NDA I had brokered with them both prior to publication of the offending article. It also seemed to dismay Little and Large (you know who you are) who had also arisen at the crack of dawn to support their own sons at Amersham. Just as well they weren't around to witness the dressing down I received on answering the peremptory summons from said middle offspring - "Mother wants to have a word with you in the kitchen.".The discussion that ensued would certainly have triggered collective merriment.
As for the game, the 2's produced a curate's egg performance (whatever that is - and I have no idea but it sounds good) against the lowly home side. Having started well the boys went ahead after 15 minutes with a rather less than convincing Sam Chilvers strike which somehow eluded the Amersham keeper. They managed to keep the lead for 10 minutes or so which obviously made them feel very uncomfortable so, reverting to type, they gifted Amersham a goal of their own. Going ahead and then waving the opposition through for an equaliser is not actually a tactic of which I totally approve but the 2's seem to like doing it every game so who am I to complain?
The rest of the first half involved Hawks constructing some very promising moves and then , at the critical moment, surrendering possession. For my view of that tactic please refer to the last paragraph and substitute the words " constructing some very promising moves and then, at the critical moment, surrendering possession" for " Going ahead and then waving the opposition through for an equaliser".
The second half was a lot lot better. Two goals finished by Luke Hansford and Woody were scored from flowing ,passing moves played at pace which overwhelmed the opposition. Yes I did say that. The whole side stepped up a gear and played their best hockey of the season so far. Yes I did say that. There was a promising debut from Freddie and others who have not, to date, played as well as they are capable of, did so at last. I won't mention names but I'm sure they know who they are. All very encouraging - even Little and Large went away happy.
The only blot on the day was Kieran's hamstring falling to bits near the end of the contest.
We should play at 10.am. more often.
Back on track? Possibly.
Till next week.